Tuesday, December 22, 2009

We Just Got Fleeced by the F'ing Yankees

I really, really, really do not understand Frank Wren's rationale in trading the Braves' best starter for Melky Cabrera, who will likely be the weakest bat in the starting lineup.

Javy Vazquez pitched like a legitimate Cy Young candidate last year. He was near the top of the NL in strikeouts and ERA. He is signed to a relatively reasonable deal (albeit one that expires at the end of the year). I'm not opposed to the Braves trading him because they are selling him at his peak value, but I was really expecting more in return for him than an outfielder with a mediocre bat (the Braves have plenty of those) and a prospect who is going to start the year in Low A. (Baseball Prospectus rates Aroldis Vizcaino as the #2 prospect in the Yankees system, but he's a crapshoot at his age.) The only way this makes sense for the Braves is if they are freeing up salary to sign a quality first baseman. Even so, they are now going to be giving a bunch of at-bats to another league-average or lower outfielder, which was the team's problem last year.


chg said...

Frank Wren is no John Schuerholz. I don't understand it either.

RusDawg said...

I couldn't believe it. I would rather have traded Vasquez for Andruw Jones (if he is even signed anywhere)....at least Andruw sucks but can hit a homer or two. Melky just....sucks.

TJ Eckleburg12 said...

My initial reaction was quite visceral. But I've done some reading and calmed down.

1) Cabrera is the definition of league average, not below average. His contact rate and walk rates are solid. He's 25, theoretically still getting better, and if power develops then we've got something. We got a cost-controlled 25 year old switch-hitting OF, and that has more value than just a spare part.

2) Mike Dunn is ML-ready left-handed middle relief. Needs to improve walk rate, but given the fungibility of relief pitching, I'd much rather stockpile young arms like him instead of overpaying for the demise of Wagner and Saito.

3) Who knows what will happen with Vizcaino... but the upside is definitely there. K-rate of 11+/9 is what Tommy was doing... walk rate well ahead of pace for his age.

4) and this is key... we got a better prospects haul than the Phillies got for Cliff Lee.

TJ Eckleburg12 said...

Adrian Gonzalez ONE TIME!!!

Anonymous said...

To play devil's advocate with TJ (who I basically agree with)...

1. Cabrera barely fits the definition of "cost controlled"... dude is already reaching his second arb year and is going to get expensive relative to his value in a hurry. We just let go of two guys (Church and KJ) who already reached this stage. And Church, IMO, gives you about the same value that Cabrera will (health is his big issue, obviously).

2. Sounds like a younger Boone Logan to me. Or if we eliminate the LOOGY factor, another Stephen Marek. Yawn.

3. 19 year old arms are very difficult to predict (as Michael stated). And this team has the pieces to contend next season. If we were looking to strictly get prospects (a la the Renteria deal) then let's go for just the prospects and not concern ourselves with replaceable parts like Cabrera and Dunn.

This isn't a terrible deal like some people (Mark Bradley) are making it out to be, but Vizcaino better turn out to be damn good.